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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Ask Gary Planes, Trains or Automobiles/  Editorial List

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Planes, Trains or Automobiles

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I’ve been thinking a lot about this question posted in last week’s Carenote section of our weekly newsletter.  I don’t usually respond to the messages in this manner since the responses from our readers are so right on target, as they are in this case. I just thought that Richard’s situation covers so many of the challenges we deal with as family caregivers, I would (in keeping with the Presidents’ Day theme) throw my two shiny Lincoln pennies into the mix.  I swear I will not tell a lie in my response (or is that another President?).

Dear Gary,

My 92-year-old mother recently broke her hip. She’s also been diagnosed with third stage Alzheimer’s and atrial fibrillation, a long-standing problem. She is completely noncompliant when it comes to doctors, meds, rehab, etc. As a result of her condition, I have been granted guardianship of her person through the court in Florida. She is at home now with a 24/7 aide, but the nurses and physicians she saw during her rehabilitation feel that she would be much better in an assisted living situation that also deals with patients with dementia.

My plan is to move her to a facility in my state that can cater to her medical and neurological needs. When I mentioned my plans to her, she went ballistic and said she would commit suicide and/or kill me before I ever got her out the door. She becomes abusive and extremely hostile at the talk of her move and says that she is in complete control of her life and that nobody is going to tell her what to do. This has been her modus operandi for years.

I know she’s not the first person with Alzheimer’s to be hostile or to need long-distance transportation. What is the best way to do this and what professional help will I need to get the job done?

Thanks for your time and hope you can give me a little guidance here.




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